This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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July 31 is the 212th day of the year (213th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 153 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1948, the Broadway musical “Brigadoon” closed after 581 performances. It originally opened on March 13, 1947 at the Ziegfeld Theater. It was directed by Robert Lewis and choreographed by Agnes de Mille. Ms. De Mille won the Tony Award for Best Choreography. The show was had several revival and the movie starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse premiered in 1954.
Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as “Almost Like Being in Love” have become standards.
It tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever. Two American tourists, lost in the Scottish Highlands, stumble upon the village just as a wedding is about to be celebrated, and their arrival has serious implications for the village’s inhabitants.
30 BC – Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian’s forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide.
781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781).
904 – Thessalonica falls to the Arabs, who destroy the city.
1009 – Pope Sergius IV becomes the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII.
1201 – Attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat.
1423 – Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Cravant – the French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
1451 – Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.
1492 – The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
1588 – The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.
1655 – Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years.
1658 – Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.
1667 – Second Anglo-Dutch War: Treaty of Breda ends the conflict.
1703 – Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
1741 – Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
1777 – The U.S. Second Continental Congress passes a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette “be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.”
1790 – The very first U.S. patent is issued: to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
1856 – Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city.
1865 – The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
1913 – The Balkan States signs an armistice at Bucharest.
1919 – German national assembly adopts the Weimar Constitution, which comes into force on August 14.
1930 – The radio mystery program The Shadow airs for the first time.
1931 – New York City experimental television station W2XAO (now known as WCBS) begins broadcasts.
1932 – The NSDAP (Nazi Party) wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.
1938 – Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanti (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia).
1938 – Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.
1940 – A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading in the opposite direction, killing 43 people.
1941 – Holocaust: under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Goring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to “submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.”
1945 – Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
1948 – At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
1954 – First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.
1961 – At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning because of rain.
1964 – Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
1970 – Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
1971 – Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
1972 – Operation Motorman: British troops move into the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry, Northern Ireland. End of Free Derry.
1973 – A Delta Air Lines jetliner, flight DL 723 crashes while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.
1987 – A rare, class F4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.
1988 – 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
1991 – The United States and Soviet Union both sign the START I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first to reduce (with verification) both countries’ stockpiles.
1991 – The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.
1992 – Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashes into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing all 113 people on board.
1992 – Georgia joins the United Nations.
1999 – Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector – NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon’s surface.
2002 – Hebrew University of Jerusalem is attacked when a bomb explodes in a cafeteria, killing 9.
2006 – Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raul Castro.
2007 – Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Germanus of Auxerre
* Ignatius of Loyola
* July 31 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* End of the Trinity term (sitting of the High Court of Justice of England)
* Heroes’ Day (Malaysia)
* Ka Hae Hawai’i Day, a Flag Day. (Hawaii)